For almost 15 years, since the death of her sister, Nicole Brown Simpson, Denise Brown has spoken out about the issue of domestic violence. She has travelled all across the United States, speaking to university student bodies, men in prison and in batterers’ treatment programs, women at risk, church groups and various educational and legislative forums. She has advocated for a variety of legislative solutions for domestic violence, and has made a life-long commitment to educating the public. In her own words, Denise shares her inspiration and purpose for the amazing work she does.
It all started on the saddest day in the world for me. June 12th 1994. A day I will never forget.
The day my sister Nicole was brutally murdered.
Nicole and I were less than two years apart in age. When we were growing up we did everything together, we looked out for one another. When Nicole was a baby and my mother took her for walks in her stroller she used to tell me how I wouldn’t let anyone near her.
The groups of friends we hung out with were the same. Some girlfriends even said “If one of them is mad at you, so is the other one”.
After about a year of courtrooms I was asked to speak, March 1995 in Columbia, Missouri, to 800 people. I said yes but honestly I don’t know why, because I used to ditch class if I had to give an oral report in front of the class. It was something I could not do. I was terrified.
When I got to Missouri they introduced me and for about 30 seconds I thought I was going to faint. All of a sudden a voice told me “This is not about a grade for you, this is to help others. You do the best you can.”
That was Nicole, my inspiration that helped me, that day to overcome my fear of speaking publicly. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss her. Wishing she were here with me, but I do know that her untimely death has and is saving so many lives in the world. Every time I speak I know Nicole is right there with me.
I love you Nick.